Last Update: April 2018

The Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable operated from 2014­–2018, focusing on monitoring the sustainability status of shrimp fisheries and pushing for improvements where they were needed. In April 2018, the SR was merged with the Mexican Seafood SR, because the primary improvement needs for Gulf of California shrimp fisheries overlap with the policy improvement goals of the Mexican Seafood SR. Any fishery-specific improvement needs will now be addressed by sub-committees of the Mexican Seafood SR.

The shrimp fishery on the northwest Pacific coast of Mexico, including the Gulf of California (GoC), ranks as the most important in México. It has the highest economic value of landings and contains the largest number of vessels and the greatest number of direct jobs. It ranks in third place in terms of volume, with annual landings of approximately 40,000 tons—most of which is imported to the US market during a season that begins in September and runs through March. Much of the Gulf of California shrimp fishery has made improvements in sustainability over the last 10 years, including stocks and bycatch monitoring, fishing effort reduction, area closures, fishery regulations, enforcement, and compliance; but there are still areas for improvement. 

2018 Supply Chain Roundtable Participants: 

Aquastar
Red Chamber/Meridian
PROMARMEX/Amende & Schultz
Eastern Fish
Blessings Seafood
Delta Blue Aquaculture
Tai Foong USA
Seattle Fish
Fortune Fish Co
Slade Gorton & Company
Tampa Bay Fisheries
Del Pacifico Seafoods
Ocean Garden Products
Albion Fisheries 

Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered: The roundtable focused on Gulf of California, Mexico, fisheries for yellowleg, whiteleg, and blue shrimp. The following FIPs were supported and monitored: 

Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp FIP
Magdalena Bay Shrimp FIP
Gulf of California Industrial Shrimp FIP

2017 Improvement Needs and Recommendations: 

Improvement Needs:

  • The development of a fishery management plan (FMP) for the Mexican Pacific Coast shrimp fishery was started in 2004, but the process was interrupted. During 2012, the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) resumed the development of the FMP; however, it has not been implemented or evaluated as precautionary yet.
  • A federal observer program for the industrial fishery was implemented in 2016 to resume the bycatch data collection that occurred in 2004–2010, but there is not yet any publicly available information on the program implementation or results.
  • Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is believed to be an issue in the artisanal shrimp fisheries, including fishing by unlicensed vessels and use of unapproved gear configurations.
  • While IUU fishing in the industrial shrimp fishery is no longer a severe issue, due to increased monitoring and enforcement, it is essential to publicly ensure there is no backsliding and that all fishing activity is in compliance with all federal regulations.
  • Recent monitoring has indicated that the status of the endangered vaquita porpoise is worsening. The Upper Gulf of California shrimp fisheries, if undertaken in full compliance with federal regulations, should have little to no negative impacts on the vaquita.

2017 Action Recommendations for Suppliers:

  • Request the National Commission for Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) to finalize and publish the fishery management plan.
  • Monitor the implementation of the observer bycatch monitoring program initiated in 2016. Ensure that the information generated from the program meets the needs of the bycatch-related performance indicators in MSC Principle II and is publicly available.
  • Request that exporters implement a system to verify that artisanal landings are acquired from vessels that are using the required fishing gear and are registered according to the regulations.
  • Establish third-party auditable control documents between producers and importers to verify compliance with the fishery regulations.
  • Encourage the adoption of traceability programs to document fishing operations and increase accountability and transparency to the control documents.
  • Monitor the ongoing efforts of the Mexican government, environmental organizations, and fishers' organizations to protect the vaquita porpoise and seek opportunities for the seafood supply chain to contribute to these efforts.

Follow this link to learn more about the activities and progress of this SR

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